Home > Appetizers > Brunch, Booze and Bagpipes

My friend, Gail, said “Father Time is knocking on my door again“. She wanted to get together with the gals for a birthday brunch on Sunday. Here, in South FL, we have lots of brunch choices from waterfront casual to high-end hotels. We generally tend toward the high-end, like the Four Seasons, for these special celebrations. But, hey, they’re expensive, a little stiff, and you can’t hang out ALL day. Wouldn’t it be more fun to do a brunch at home?

I volunteered to host the brunch at “Casa Nova” and the gals readily agreed.

And, it was some brunch!

9 hours long and 10 ‘dead soldiers’

Since we weren’t getting together until 1:00, I decided to make brunch – stilo Italiano. Here’s the menu along with some food and party photos – and our surprise guest!

We started with some bubbly and a few light and ladylike appetizers. (Well the first two are light and ladylike; the other two are salty and start to set the tone for what follows.)

Bubbly + Hors d’ouevres
proscuitto-wrapped melon with white balsamic glaze
watermelon caprese with basil and balsamic glaze
oil-cured olives

The scrolls in the back are copies of the menu – we’re all foodies and thrive on those touches. 🙂

Hot Antipasto
sweet + savory stuffed mushroom
proscuitto-wrapped grilled shrimp with lemon-parsley sauce
parmesan-crusted baby zucchini
baked mini sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese with honey + black pepper

First Course
pesto spaghetti pie with artichokes, peas and romesco sauce
cauliflower giardinera

Second Course
braised pork belly with candied tomatoes on creamy cannellini (recipe will be posted later this week)

fruit, cheeses, crackers, chocolate, nuts with creative centerpiece made by Christine

At some point in the afternoon, Lynn asked if I’d like her friend John (a fireman-bagpiper) to stop by and play Happy Birthday. Duh? Yeah!

Before John left, we took advantage of his being there to pose for a group photo.

Lynn, Maude, Christine, Moi, Jenn, April, (seated Patti and Gail)

And a few silly photos with his props.

Regretfully, over the weekend, Gail got word that she’ll be transferring to New Orleans for work so our brunch was twofold: Happy Birthday and Fare-thee-well! We’ll miss you!

P.S. Thought the foodies out there might like to see my gift for Gail. (Available on Amazon)

18 Comments, RSS

  • South Florida Food and Wine

    says on:
    September 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    too-too fun! you truly captured the essence of the day through your photos

  • Dorothy

    says on:
    September 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Wow, what a great party and sad that Gail is moving. Oh well, it just means planning another trip for you to visit her.

  • Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    says on:
    September 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Brunch and a tiara. What a fabulous get-together Joan. How could it get better than this. Just remember you could visit Gail in New Orleans. That’s a town that knows a thing or two about brunch too.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Monday Musings – Alpacas at our Farmer’s MarketMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      … oh, yes. I’ve definitely got that in mind! 🙂

  • Platanos Mangoes & Me!

    says on:
    September 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I always miss the big ones…boo hoo…You did a wonderful…jealous!!!!
    Platanos Mangoes & Me! recently posted..Té para Dos o Más- Tea for Two or MoreMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

      I know … too bad. We really had a great time!

  • bellini

    says on:
    September 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

    An excellent feast with great friends!! These are where memories are created.

  • Flavors of the Sun

    says on:
    September 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

    OMG. OMG. OMG. Now this is one perfect feast, Joan. Every element is perfect. PERFECT. The food looks so wonderful and the guests so full of fun. And the gifties–fois gras bublegum and bacon gumballs??????? How good is that? Wonderful post.
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Class Fun, Puptides, and a RecipeMy Profile

  • angela@spinachtiger

    says on:
    September 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Wow. DId you make all that yourself? What a lovely feast. So I take it your friend is not coming to Nashville. New Orleans is a great food town, though.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Old Fashioned Coconut Cake with Buttercream FrostingMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Yes, I did all the food (except the cheese + fruit platter). And, yes, it went from Nashville to New Orleans.

  • Susan Pierres

    says on:
    September 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Fabulous! Brunch as it SHOULD be and beautifully captured in photos! Bravissima, Joan!

  • Peter

    says on:
    September 19, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Great spread Joan but without good company its just another dinner. You’ve got great friends, looks like lots of fun!
    Peter recently posted..Walnut SkordaliaMy Profile

  • Katie

    says on:
    October 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

    How do I score an invite to one of these parties at Chez Joan? 😉
    Katie recently posted..Sightseeing Bus Tours in Necochea and QuequénMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      October 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      All you need to do is come to FL!

  • bellini

    says on:
    September 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    what an amazing celebration joan. you ladies really know how to celebrate.

  • Marie

    says on:
    September 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Amazing Joan, this beats out any stuffy hotel brunch! You have a beautiful group of friends and you guys really know how to eat!I’ll be waiting for that second course recipe with the creamy cannellini!!!

  • Liz

    says on:
    September 16, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Looks like a great feast and birthday celebration. Very creative, as usual!

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